The Future of Dermal Tattoos
Right now, dermal tattoos look beautiful, boost our self-confidence, express our individuality, and represent something precious to us. But what if we could take our tattoos a step further? What if we could use them to save lives, inform others, or keep us safe in any environment? A collaboration of MIT and Harvard University researchers discovered one unique way to do this. The project, called DermalAbyss, takes tattoos to the next level. Although it only counts as a proof-of-concept, the researchers work even now to improve these tattoos. Today, let’s talk about the future of dermal tattoos and their applications in the medical world!
The Tattoo Dream
Lots of people need to use health monitors on a daily—or even hourly—basis to ensure they stay safe. In example, someone with diabetes checks their blood sugar throughout the day to keep their sugar level. Along with that, infants with diabetes need their sodium levels monitored to ensure they stay hydrated. Cardiovascular weakness, weight fluctuation, immune deficiency, and a dozen other causes affect the pH level of your blood. What if tattoos told you your blood levels, instead of an intrusive blood test? The only thing you need to do is look over and see the appearance of your tattoo. These researchers dreamed and studied to make this dream a reality.
Tattoo Wish Granted!
By using a special kind of ink that reacts to chemicals in your blood, DermalAbyss tattoos tell their owners all sorts of things. One ink tells the sugar level and another one helps with sodium. It even tracks two different kinds of pH levels! One ink looks invisible and only appears under UV light when it detects a certain blood sugar level. The others change from pink to teal, blue to brown, and even purple to pink! In other words, these beautiful pigments can complement regular black outlines to complement the design. They look like normal tattoos, but they function as life-saving devices!
Road to Progress
Of course, every project needs to overcome hurdles. For this one, the ink gradually wears away on the pigskin researchers test it on. On top of that, potential allergic reactions or health risks remain a mystery before further testing. The tattoo needs to work just as well as a blood test, so rigorous trials await the DermalAbyss researchers. However, the fact that this proof-of-concept works has diabetics lining up for clinical trials. With enough time, these color-changing tattoos can change both the medical and tattoo world!
The Future of Tattoos
Most of the time, researchers look down on tattoos and the potential risks they carry. Allergic reactions to ink, infections, tainted ink, unhygienic conditions, and more float through the heads of these conservative worry-warts (check our tattoo healing process to see how to handle all of that!). However, these researchers from MIT and Harvard threw away those falsities and found a way to mesh the field of medicine and tattoo art. This research allows tattoos to save lives and opens the door to new types of tattoos. Even without the medical application, color-changing tattoo ink sounds awesome! I eagerly look forward to the day these tattoos change the lives of people around the world!
All Image Credit Goes to MIT Labs. Source.